In many people, this strangely named product arises nothing but doubt. Is it a vitamin or a food supplement? Where do they get it? What’s so good about it? Why is it so expensive? Is it really worth the price? Yes, it is!
Who and what is it?
The clean-eating craze of the recent years has brought forth countless ideas and options, and spirulina is no exception. There is something misgiving about it – maybe its strange blue-green color. No such thing! Spirulina is just a kind of algae, which you can see on a surface of an African or South American little pond! Its commercial version looks like a deep blue-green powder.
Why is it so good?
Spirulina’s effects were discovered in the times of ancient Aztecs. Today, its benefits are unarguable.
- Spirulina is very rich in proteins and amino acids. Some scientists have calculated that a couple of tablespoonfuls of spirulina are equivalent to our daily intake of proteins. However, we should not fall into euphoria about it. Spirulina is very expensive, plus there are lots of substances other than proteins, which spirulina does not contain, while other meals do.
- Spirulina contains powerful antioxidants, which do away with free radicals and prevents damage to your cells and DNA. Consequently, regular intake of spirulina can reduce the likelihood of cancer.
- Spirulina is rich in polysaccharides, which strengthen the immune system. Studies have shown that those who consume spirulina as a food supplement are less likely to catch an infection or virus.
- This algae pretty much eases the lives of allergic people. It has been discovered that spirulina blocks the production of histamine, which causes nasal irritation, sneezing, nasal discharge, and other symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- According to research, spirulina has pronounced antidiabetic properties. Some scientists say it does even better than Metformin. Even a minor decrease in blood sugar level, which resulted from the use of spirulina, can reduce death rate significantly.
- A randomized double-blind study, which involved a group of elderly people, revealed an ability to control cholesterol levels and therefore prevent atherosclerosis, cardiac insufficiency, myocardial infarction, etc.
- Spirulina and seaweed have proved to be effective in treatment of HIV. Scientists even note low HIV/AIDS occurrence in areas where spirulina and other algae grow. According to research, these ingredients may be on the path toward supplanting or even substituting antiretroviral drugs.
- Spirulina’s antioxidating properties contribute to better academic performance and cognitive abilities. A study, which involved a group of students who took a dose every day during the research period, revealed a significant improvement in their performance.
- Skin problems are one of the biggest issues, especially for women. Spirulina has proved its healthy influence on skin. For the most part, skin improves thanks to elimination of free radicals and toxins, which cause our skin to age rapidly.
- Thanks to the huge amount of protein and other nutrients, a dose of spirulina frees you from having to overeat and helps you regulate weight. For this reason, it can be used as a weight control supplement. However, it is only effective in combination with balanced diet and exercise.
This is only a short list of spirulina’s benefits and there are all reasons to believe that we are in for more discoveries. And what we have learnt about it so far suggests that times when it penetrates nearly all spheres of health care are not far off. However, once again, we should not fall into euphoria, because we cannot tell how spirulina can work for every individual.